It was highlighted before the Supreme Court on Monday that the country did not have an Election Commission under the 18th Amendment, prompting the Chief Justice to remark that what would be the effects of decisions taken by the incomplete Election Commission, as people are challenging them in the courts. As the Chief Justice, Mr Iftikhar Chaudhry pointed out, the Constitution had to be followed in letter and in spirit by the government. The incomplete Election Commission in particular strikes at the heart of any system based on elections, especially a system in which it is supposed to be one of the options of the government to choose the timings of elections. It would be an unfortunate set of affairs if the election was challenged or otherwise placed in doubt just because of the Election Commission.Apart from the routine of holding elections, both by-elections and generals, the Election Commission is seized of two matters which make its being complete of paramount importance. The first is the fake degrees of parliamentarians, who had not fulfilled the requirement that legislators be at least graduates at the last election, the second is that of the electoral rolls, which have been cast into doubt. The ECP is charged under the Constitution with preparing voters lists, and this task must be completed before the next general election, otherwise the exercise may lack the credibility that is so necessary for a functioning democracy. Another challenge is the holding of local body elections, which are now overdue, and which await a decision on the local body system introduced by the last military government.The government has for too long defied the Supreme Courts orders. It is time it started obeying them. One of the first conditions of a functioning democracy is credible elections, something which is only possible through an election commission functioning according to the Constitution. The government must not hesitate in obeying the courts.